Friday, September 28, 2007

A country with two names...

The unrest going on in Southeast Asia is creating a secondary journalistic battle over who gets to name a country.
But when it comes to referring to the nation in English, there's little debate. Myanmar is the name invented 18 years ago by the benighted junta, known as SLORC* back then and the State Peace and Development Council now, when it seized power through force. When Westerners say "Myanmar," they're not being culturally respectful to the people of a beautiful but oppressed nation. (We don't call China Zhongguo or Germany Deutschland just because the locals do.) They're bowing to the whims of the generals who still imprison Aung San Suu Kyi.

There is no reason to humor them. Say Burma, as George Bush did. And CNN, grow some backbone when it comes to terminology! [More]

I'm falling in with James Fallows and Pres. Bush. And I'm starting to notice how different media sources make their choice as well.

No comments: